When creating a dish there is nothing like achieving that perfect balance of flavors. When you have that harmony going on it's just a delight to the taste buds. This weekend, I tried out a new recipe from Giada that hit every note on the flavor scale - Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage. The combination of roasted fennel with it's sweet flavor and the spiciness of an Italian sausage was an ideal match. Some Parmesan cheese and capers finish this dish off well.
Below you will find my notes from this recipe. To print out the recipe, visit Food Network's website.
1. The recipe called for 2 small bulbs for fennel but I used 1 medium to large size.
2. Instead of buying sausage link I bought some ground bulk Italian sausage from my local meat counter. I only bought exactly what I needed for this recipe, which is a nice advantage to buying meat from the counter.
3. The sun dried tomatoes do add a lot of color to the dish but I omitted them and used a bit of tomato sauce for flavor instead. When it comes to tomatoes I really only like tomato sauce and soup.
4. This is the first time I have used Orecchiette. I really like the texture of the pasta and being able to use them like mini-bowls to fill with sausage, fennel, and capers.
5. If you don't have white wine available you can also use a little bit of chicken stock or to make it creamy try a little bit of heavy cream - yum! It's important to add a liquid to the pan to loosen up the brown bites on the bottom as those brown bites are super flavorful.
6. The last time I made this I added some fresh basil from the garden, but not just your everyday common sweet basil but some lime and licorice basil. I felt both of these really added to the dish. I wouldn't go for the common sweet basil here. Those special basil that usually can only be found at the start of the year at a garden store.
We now have a new pasta dish to add to your rotation. So easy to put together and so much flavor.